As we approach the holidays, I've noticed the shift in conversations towards gratitude, and it's one of my favorite parts of this season. Why? A content life happens when we cultivate gratitude, and I love being part of the intentional conversations about how far we've come and the things we're thankful for. These conversations and gratitude lists give me energy and momentum to continue to move forward, because gratitude is good for you. Not just mentally, but physically, too!
Today we're sharing seven easy ways to intentionally begin to cultivate gratitude in your own lives. The best part about these? You can start right now, because they are small, tangible steps to get your started today.
Create a marker of gratitude for your home. If you search "Gratitude Craft" on Pinterest, you'll see a plethora of options. Some of my favorites that I've seen are a thankful tree, a blessings jar, a thankful wall, or a gratitude wreath made from clothespins. The best part about these? They aren't elaborate or expensive, and they can be created from items you likely already have in your home. It's a great way to get any children in your home involved, too! Make this a dinnertime discussion, and add something new to your gratitude marker each evening.
Make it a habit. One of my favorite parts of the PowerSheets Tending List is the ability to list our daily goals for your month. If gratitude is something you want to cultivate, add it to your Tending List as a daily reminder!
Speak it out loud to others. Look for opportunities to thank others. It's one thing to think it, and it's another thing to speak it out loud. Thoughts are fleeting, but our words are permanent. A simple "thank you for taking the time to do that" can go a long way in encouraging others.
Write it down. The power of writing down things I'm grateful for in my Write the Word // Cultivate Gratitude journal cements them in my brain. Not only that, but it's also a tangible place for me to flip back through when I'm in a difficult season. You don't need a fancy journal (though I do love incorporating the Scripture from our WTW journal with a gratitude list). You can start with a notebook you already have lying around!
Put your phone down. Is it just me, or does it seem like this tip could go on every single blog post we write? Eyes up, phone down has been on my PowerSheets for the past few months as a reminder to pay attention to what's in front of me. Instead of scrolling through social media and focusing on what I lack, I'm able to enjoy the people and moments around me. Need some tips on putting your phone down? We recommend having a social media-free weekend!
Watch your words. One of the best pieces of advice I read earlier this year in an article is to only complain when you can offer a solution to the problem. You guys, this has been a game-changer for me. Complaining for complaining's sake ends up being counter-productive, and you end up feeding the negative thoughts. The author gives great examples: Is your internet connection too slow? Make a quick phone call to your provider to get it sorted out. Is traffic on the way to work terrible? Leave earlier or take a different route. Most problems can be easily remedied. In the same way that our negative words can be draining, training our hearts and minds towards gratitude can go leaps and bounds in cultivating our hearts, too.
Surround yourself with reminders of gratitude. For me, it's filling my refrigerator and frames with photos of my loved ones. I also love creating playlists for different moods, and my Believe playlist is one of the most-centering playlists I've created. I often listen to it when I need a good soul-reminder. Feel free to give it a listen, too!
I'd love to hear from you! How do you cultivate gratitude in your lives? What else would you add to this list?